If you’re a runner like me you’ll probably agree that the idea of taking a yoga class is nothing short of terrifying! When touching your toes is as likely to happen as coming home to find your husband cleaning the bathroom, attempting downward dog in front of 30 strangers who seem to have elastic limbs and joints as flexible as Barbie is not likely to be a great start to the day.
Despite all the reasons not to I accepted the challenge from a friend to try an early morning yoga class this week. While a 6am start has its obvious downsides I was pleasantly relieved when I realised it also meant the first half of the class was more or less completed in the dark (I love daylight savings for so many reasons!).
After the nerves subsided and I realised the other participants were well and truly ‘in the moment’, and hadn’t noticed that my ‘cobra’ more closely resembled a typical garden slug, I started to relax and enjoy the class. In fact when I finally got the hang of the supported shoulder stand I subconsciously broke into cycling legs, just as we used to do as kids lying in front of the telly. Thankfully I didn’t break into a verse of ‘The Pushbike Song’. OK it was going through my mind…
“A-round, round, wheels goin’ round round round.
Down up pedals, down up down.
But I gotta get across to the other side of town,
Before the sun goes down. Hey, hey!”
It was then that I realised I too was ‘in the moment’. I was actually enjoying this now that I had also overcome the smell of the incense which was stifling my breathing and I am sure therefore also limiting my range of motion during the plow pose!
The class was definitely challenging and certainly left me feeling like I’d worked out, however while my usual focus at training is legs and glutes it’s no surprise I wasn’t able to wash my hair for the following two days.
I’m happy to admit, I was wrong it was a great start to the day. What’s more the fact the yoga studio looks over Coogee beach just topped it off it was so relaxing listening to the waves as they rolled onto the shore during the class and then afterwards watching the sunrise. No… perfect start to the day really! Think I’ll make this a regular Tuesday morning thing.
For those whose training also focuses on running here are a few yoga poses great for runners (thanks to the Happy Runner):
- Pigeon Pose – Great for releasing and stretching tight hips and glutes
- Warrior Pose – Good for leg strength and stability
- Downward Dog – Stretches out calfs and hamstrings